A federal law requiring police departments to disclose details of their use of force will go into effect immediately.
The changes were announced Tuesday by President Barack Obama in an executive order that was signed just hours before the bill was signed into law by Democratic Gov.
“As we all know, the use of deadly force against a person of color is deeply troubling,” Obama said in a statement announcing the changes.
“The use of excessive force by police is a matter of deep concern and requires us to work together to prevent it from happening again.”
The law also requires departments to conduct an independent review of their officers’ use of lethal force, including how often officers use lethal force.
Under the law, any department that has a history of police shootings will be required to submit a report to the Department of Justice within 90 days.
That report will be made public on a website and the department will have 30 days to respond to the findings.
The Department of Public Safety will also be required, after an internal investigation, to provide “substantive findings and conclusions” that the department has already made public.
The law will not require departments to release police officers’ names and the names of any witnesses who spoke to the press.
The department’s chief law enforcement officer, Tom Donohue, told reporters Tuesday that the new reporting requirements will not change any policies or practices.
Donohu said he believes the department is “going to be the best police department in the country” but said the department would not be required “to release anything.”
The Department has been under fire in recent months for its handling of the death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who died after being arrested for allegedly selling loose cigarettes.
The Staten Island man died after police placed him in a chokehold for more than five minutes and placed him into a choke hold for more the three hours he was in a police car.
During his funeral, Garner’s mother, Erica Garner, spoke at length about her son’s death and what she hoped to achieve with the new legislation.
“This bill is not about police, it’s not about the police, this is about my son,” she said, according to The New York Post.
“It’s about our families and our community.”
The bill will also require agencies to release information about any officers involved in the death, including if any of them are suspended or demoted.
The legislation also gives localities greater discretion in how they handle cases involving deadly force by officers.
The measure will also prevent the Justice Department from using civil rights laws to seek financial settlements against police departments.
“We cannot let a civil rights law be used to justify unlawful, excessive force,” Inslee said in his signing statement.
“These reforms will prevent the unjust and unconstitutional use of violence by police officers, and protect the rights of all law enforcement officers.”